The Pentagon—Spying in America
June 13, 2004 4:23 PM   Subscribe

We have some questions for you The DoD, with the help of some friendly legislatures, is getting an exemption to restrictions put in place after the scandals of the early '70s against intelligence operations inside US borders. PATRIOT Act III?
posted by billsaysthis (5 comments total)
What worries me most is that this will get through with minimal debate -- when, in fact, it deserves careful consideration.

Far from having an incentive to oppose it, Democrats can gain politically by pushing it, as it can enhance a "Bush dropped the ball on 9/11" message. Republicans will let it go through because they don't mind seeing more unified national security in the first place.

I don't think that, as a matter of principal, foreign and domestic intelligence coordination is problematic. Counter-intelligence and high level border defense has always sat uneasily in the same agencies with law enforcement at FBI, Customs, INS, Coast Guard, etc. They are different disciplines, with different means and ends.
posted by MattD at 5:15 PM on June 13, 2004

Church Committee Reports (1976)

From the Conclusions and Recommendations:

"[S]topping crime, including acts of terrorism, is essential to insure "domestic tranquility" and to "provide for the common defense." Therefore, the power of government to conduct proper domestic intelligence activities under effective restraints and controls must be preserved."


"In general, the restrictions seek to limit military investigations to activities in the civilian community which are necessary and pertinent to the military mission, and which cannot feasibly be accomplished by civilian agencies. In overseas locations where civilian agencies do not perform investigative activities to assist the military mission, military intelligence is given more latitude [emphasis mine]. Specifically, the Committee recommends that military intelligence be limited within the United States to conducting investigations of violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice; investigations for security clearances of Department of Defense employees and contractors; and investigations immediately before and during the deployment of armed forces in connection with civil disturbances. None of these investigations should involve the use of any covert technique employed against American civilians."

Recommendation 22: "No agency of the Department of Defense should conduct investigations of violations of criminal law or otherwise perform any law enforcement or domestic security functions within the United States, except on military bases or concerning military personnel, to enforce the Uniform Code of Military Justice."

Compare the part I emphasized to the wording in the current Senate Intelligence Committee report ("Current counterterrorism operations" require "greater latitude ... both overseas and within the United States"). What is the justification for the need for "greater latitude" within the United States? Should we be ignoring recommendations by the Church Commission?
posted by eddydamascene at 5:26 PM on June 13, 2004

The military has been assuming new domestic policing and surveillance roles for awhile now.
posted by homunculus at 5:33 PM on June 13, 2004

DoD Directive 5105.67 which established CIFA
posted by eddydamascene at 6:10 PM on June 13, 2004

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